Davonte Weatherford,22, was shot by a Memphis, Tenn., police officer in 2017, and survived. After he was shot protests erupted in the city. Many said it was another case of a Black man being targeted by law enforcement officers, while officials said Weatherford put lives of police officers in danger.
Weatherford asked the police department to release the body camera footage from the incident, but they refused.
According to The Commercial Appeal, the newspaper filed a public information request for the bodycam footage, dashboard camera video and surveillance video from a nearby business. Their request was also denied.
On Monday, over a year later, Weatherford got his hands on the footage and released it himself. He reportedly received the footage from someone at the Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm. But Weatherford’s criminal defense lawyer, whose name just happens to be Claiborne H. Ferguson, did not confirm that he gave the footage to Weatherford, The Commercial Appeal reports.
See the video below:
“You run again, I’m gonna kill you,” the unnamed cop can be heard saying at the beginning of the video. Seconds later, two shots ring out and the officer jumps out of the car pointing the gun at Weatherford, who is on the ground.
Although Weatherford is wounded, the police roll him onto his stomach and handcuff his hands behind his back, as blood pools onto his shirt.
“I’m finna die,” Weatherford says. “I feel it.”
According to a police affidavit, on September 8, witnesses reported two men flashing guns. When officers tried to detain people in the parking lot, the individuals reportedly began to run.
The police department released a statement that said: “Officers pursued, at which time one of the suspects reportedly turned and pointed a handgun at the officers,” but the police have not said if Weatherford was pointing the gun at the officer while running.
Weatherford’s account of the incident is different.
According to the Commercial Appeal, Weatherford said he was at the shopping center where the incident happened after an argument with his girlfriend. As he was searching for a ride, Weatherford said a group of people at the store got into an argument and one of the people pulled out a gun.
However, Weatherford says that he didn’t initially run from the cop, according to an interview with the Commercial-Appeal.
“The other dudes had took off running. I just stood there,” Weatherford told the Commercial Appeal. “I was thinking what am I going to run for, I didn’t do anything.”
Weatherford then said he started to run after he remembered he had an unregistered weapon, but was eventually cut off by the cop car. The police department said the .380 Jimenez pistol that was found at the scene was reported stolen in 2015.
Weatherford didn’t have a criminal record before the incident, but now faces charges of aggravated assault, evading arrest and theft of property. A later charge of unlawful possession of a weapon was added after the arrest when police say they discovered the gun Weatherford had was reportedly stolen. His next court date is on December 4.